Social Value of Green Space in a Drying Climate

Research Report


Social Value of Green Space in a Drying Climate


Dr Amma Buckley, Professor Marian Tye



The report presents findings from a study to inform decisions and policy development about the cost to community if water resources are reduced or ceased in public open space (POS). Following a review of contemporary literature and relevant research, as well as compiling Local Government case study profiles which include the views of POS users at different sites, the study found that participants were generally satisfied with the current level of green (88%) at the survey site. Over half of the study participants believed that they should be consulted if there was a change in water management practices (56%). The option of contributing (or ‘user pays’) to maintain green recreation and sporting spaces attracted close to 50 per cent support. Most survey respondents would back alternative sources for irrigating POS, if there was a decrease in groundwater or further declines in rainfall, preferring recycled water and use of grey water over the cessation of watering. A number of key messages arose from the research, including community support for prioritisation of water to sporting spaces (if they also have access to green recreation spaces), long-term water restriction may lead to a reduction in private green space with potential increased use of POS, and the commitment of Local Government to POS irrigation innovation. The following are suggested areas for further investigation: increased use of POS; management of new development POS; and, distributive fairness of water for POS.

How to cite:

Buckley, A., J. Smith, and M. Tye. Social Value of Green Space in a Drying Climate. Report for the Department of Sport and Recreation WA. Perth. February 2014.